First he behested $200,000 on behalf of a shadow group under John Arnold, the former Enron executive who helped crash California’s economy before making big bucks as a hedge-fund manager. Then he acted as chief requester for $50K from Richard Riordan, the former mayor of LA, and matching denomination from George Hume and Michael Mortiz, a couple of pension-busting obsessed businessman in Silicon Valley.
Now, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, in his quest to put a state pension reform measure on next year’s ballot, appears to be buddying up with the Manhattan Institute and possibly its chairman Paul Singer. The founder of $21 billion hedge fund Elliot Management, Singer is an ardent supporter of The One Percent and vocal critic of public employee pensions.
Elliot is considered one of the biggest “vulture funds” in the world, according to the New York Times. A vulture fund buys distressed bonds for pennies on the dollar from nearly bankrupt countries and then sues the pants off of government entities when they default on payments. This kind of speculation is part of what kicked off global economic calamity—not sexual apathy in Japan.
Just last month, Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi wrote about Singer and Elliot Management’s role in looting pension funds from Rhode Island.
According to Reed’s office, the Manhattan Institute is paying for the mayor’s flight to New York so he can talk shop Thursday at its pension reform conference. Reed is one of three keynote speakers, including Riordan, who apparently suggested Reed as a speaker. The mayor will then jet over to Washington D.C., courtesy of PEW Charitable Trust (partner of the Arnold Foundation), to take part in a retirement reform summit on Friday.
Reed will pay for his meals while the city picks up his hotel in New York and return flight from Washington D.C., the mayor’s office said, noting that he is also expected to take part in other meetings on city business.